In a unique collaboration to safeguard the misuse of location-tracking devices, Apple and Google on Tuesday said they have jointly submitted an industry specification to help combat the misuse of Bluetooth location-tracking devices for unwanted tracking.
The first-of-its-kind specification will allow Bluetooth location-tracking devices to be compatible with unauthorised tracking detection and alerts across iOS and Android platforms.
Samsung, Tile, Chipolo, eufy Security, and Pebblebee have expressed support for the draft specification, which offers best practices and instructions for manufacturers.
“Apple launched AirTag to give users the peace of mind knowing where to find their most important items,” said Ron Huang, Apple’s vice president of Sensing and Connectivity.
“This new industry specification builds upon the AirTag protections, and through collaboration with Google results in a critical step forward to help combat unwanted tracking across iOS and Android,” Huang added.
The specification has been submitted via theAInternet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a leading standards development organisation for review and comment over the next three months.A
“Bluetooth trackers have created tremendous user benefits, but they also bring the potential of unwanted tracking, which requires industrywide action to solve,” said Dave Burke, Google’s vice president of Engineering for Android.
“Android has an unwavering commitment to protecting users, and will continue to develop strong safeguards and collaborate with the industry to help combat the misuse of Bluetooth tracking devices,” he added.
In addition to incorporating feedback from device manufacturers, input from various safety and advocacy groups has been integrated into the development of the specification, said Apple and Google.